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Sonny Dykes thought Northwestern was faking injuries and was livid (Video)

Sonny Dykes

Cal football coach Sonny Dykes lost in his debut with the Golden Bears on Saturday night, and he was upset with Northwestern for seemingly employing some shady tactics.

The No. 22-ranked Wildcats won 44-30 in a game that was much closer than the score indicates. A number of Northwestern’s defensive players kept getting hurt and leaving the game with injuries, only to return later and get hurt again. It seemed like an obvious attempt to slow down Dykes’ fast-paced “Bear Raid” offense, and it worked.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald brushed aside the faking accusations, but Dykes spoke openly about what he thought was going on.

“It affected it a lot,” Dykes said after the game of Northwestern’s constant injuries, via the AP. “You know it was just unusual, it seemed like every time we had a first down they would have an injury. I hadn’t seen that, didn’t expect to see that, was disappointed that I saw that but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

In the video below, you can see Northwestern players go down with supposed injuries on four occasions. In one Cal drive with around three minutes left in the third quarter, Northwestern went down in three of four consecutive plays (all seen in the video). First it was No. 92 Will Hampton. Two plays later No. 44 Chi Chi Ariguzo went down. On the next play, Damien Proby went down. In a 4th-quarter drive, Hampton went down again with a supposed injury.

You can watch it all below, along with Dykes’ fiery reaction:

As was mentioned in the video, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said during the week that teams were being taught in practice how to fake injuries to slow down fast-paced offenses. Nick Saban and Bret Bielema were among the coaches who spoke out this offseason against the hurry-up offenses. And you want to know the irony of the situation for Cal? Three years ago they were faking injuries to slow down Oregon. My how things change.


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  • Sunjester

    Just because Cal did it a couple years back (and subsequently suspended the coach – who’s now at UW), doesn’t mean that it’s “karma” or right for opposing teams to fake injuries as well. In that third quarter, there were three consecutive plays where NW players went out with injuries and each of the three were back in the game 2, sometimes 3 plays later – WITHOUT any medical attention from the training staff on the sideline. That smacks of exhaustion rather than injury – if the player is tired, use a time out to get them off the field, or sub them out quickly. Both teams were able to sub players in and out even during the high-speed Cal offense, so it can be done. But Fitzgerald vehemently denying faking injuries was disingenuous at best and bald-face lying at the worst.